How managers can move their organization from reactive emergencies to planned activities
Angela Testa, senior vice president of operations at American Campus Communities, strengthens operations without compromising a healthy work environment
Kirk Beaudoin was in high school on summer vacation when his uncle asked him if he wanted to earn extra money and help with his moving company. From a teenager looking for extra money, Beaudoin's career in facilities management took off.
Today we are speaking with:
Senior Facilities Manager
adidas America, Portland, Ore.
"I spent the summer building modular office furniture, moving employees around and delivering furniture," says Beaudoin, senior facilities manager at adidas America Inc. "After spending a significant amount of time on site everyday with one client, they hired me away from the moving company, and my facilities career began."
As Beaudoin has earned several designations from the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association and BOMI throughout his decade-long career, has always kept learning. "Nobody knows everything, and as soon as you stop trying to grow, you'll fall behind and be passed by," Beaudoin says. "I have earned my LEED Green Associate accreditation and next on my list, I’m looking to earn my CFM from IFMA," referring to the organizations Certified Facilities Manager accreditation.
Q) Describe the beginnings of your facility management career. (When, where, why)
A) I didn't choose a career in facilities, but I can pinpoint the exact moment that started me down the career path I'm on. When I was in high school, my uncle asked me this question, 'Do you want to earn some extra money this summer?' He owned a moving company and my simple yes answer put me in front of facilities managers across a wide variety of companies. Building modular office furniture, moving employees around, delivering furniture. It was a great experience. After spending a significant amount of time onsite every day with one client (Sequent Computer Systems) they hired me away from the moving company, and my facilities career began.
Q)What credentials and certifications have you earned throughout your career?
A) I have a 'never stop learning' mantra. Nobody knows everything, and as soon as you stop trying to grow, you'll fall behind, and be passed by. I have earned several designations over my career. RFMP (Retail Facilities Management Professional) from PRSM Association. FMA (Facilities Management Administrator) from BOMI. And I earned my LEED Green Associate accreditation. Next on my list, I’m currently looking to earn my CFM (Certified Facilities Manager) from IFMA.
Q)What is your favorite project that you've worked on?
A) I have worked on numerous projects over the years, big and small. One that I am proud of was a fleet-wide break room remodel project. What started out as a prize for a single store, it was so well received by leadership that they approved makeovers for the rest of the fleet. What made it special was that it wasn’t a typical customer facing project, where most attention is focused, but rather it was a ‘thank you’ to the store employees. I got a lot of satisfaction seeing how happy the store employees were with their new space to enjoy.
Q)What advice would you give to somebody starting out in the facility management profession?
A) I would definitely say 'know what you are getting into.' If you are expecting an 8-5 job, where you can unplug at the end of the day and come back in and pick up where you left off, this may not be the field for you. I feel like I've been on call 24/7 for the past decade or so. But you get used to it. I think it also takes a special personality type as well. I've met a fair amount of cranky facilities managers in my day» if you aren't happy, what are you doing here? Find something else to do, quit making people miserable. But if you like helping people, and solving problems, have a tolerance to stress, then this is certainly a rewarding field that I highly recommend.